Anti-hu­man traf­fick­ing task­force self-eval­u­ates

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

THE Anti-Hu­man Traf­fick­ing Task­force is eval­u­at­ing its past decade of work and pre­par­ing for its third fiveyear project, which will start in 2017.

“The task­force will try to find the weak­ness in the pre­ven­tive mea­sures we take for sup­press­ing hu­man-traf­fick­ing,” Po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Thet Naung said at an Anti-Hu­man Traf­fick­ing Day cer­e­mony in Nay Pyi Taw on Septem­ber 13. “We will also ex­pose the hu­man traf­fick­ing com­mit­ted by lo­cals.”

The laws that gov­ern hu­man-traf­fick­ing are cur­rently be­ing up­dated, Pol Lt Col Thet Naung said.

“We need to take our time up­dat­ing the laws and by-laws be­cause there are many de­tails,” he said. “If they are not prop­erly ad­dressed, our ef­fort will be for noth­ing. But it is too early to tell what amend­ments we will make.”

They hope to sub­mit a draft of the law to par­lia­ment be­fore the end of the year, he said.

The task­force has strug­gled in gain­ing co­op­er­a­tion from other ASEAN coun­tries, as well as China, he said.

“We are not sat­is­fied with the out­comes of the work we do with other re­gional coun­tries,” he said. “We worry about our peo­ple but the other coun­tries re­spond slowly. From our point of view, our peo­ple are be­ing traf­ficked but from their point of view, our peo­ple are il­le­gally en­ter­ing their coun­try, so they make ar­rests. In cases like this, we can­not do any­thing but feel dis­sat­is­fied.”

Vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing who wind up in China, Thai­land or In­done­sia could be saved and sent home through col­lab­o­ra­tion with the rel­e­vant em­bassies, said Vice Pres­i­dent U Henry Van Thio, who also at­tended the cer­e­mony.

Another goal for the com­ing project is to help vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing re­cover.

In the 2015-16 fi­nan­cial year, UNICEF and the anti-traf­fick­ing force jointly pro­vided K99.6 mil­lion (US$82,000) to as­sist 708 vic­tims.

Last year, the an­nual US Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons re­port down­graded Myan­mar to the worst, tier-three rank­ing on the list for not do­ing enough to com­bat the scourge. The re­port called Myan­mar “a source coun­try for men, women, and chil­dren sub­jected to forced la­bor and for women and chil­dren sub­jected to sex traf­fick­ing”. The fish­ing in­dus­try and armed forces were both par­tic­u­larly cited by the US as be­ing rife with forced labour.

– Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

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